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THE SITUATION ROOM
Occupy Protests Continue; White House Shooting Suspect Appears in Court; Energy Secretary: No Apology for Solyndra; Perry: Obama Was "Privileged"; Gingrich Versus the Media; Is Newt Inc. A Liability to Campaign?; Protesters Target D.C. VA. Bridge; More Abuse Victims Coming Forward?; Loose Lips on Iran?
Aired November 17, 2011 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: From Wall Street to the West Coast, the Occupy movement turns out for a day of action, and more trouble may be looming over the next couple of hours. We're on the scene.
The suspect in the White House shooting incident goes to court and is charged with attempting to assassinate the president of the United States.
And that half-billion-dollar federal loan to a solar energy firm that went belly up, the energy secretary gets a grilling on Capitol Hill, but makes no apology.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: But the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is speaking to reporters right now on the Occupy Wall Street developments.
Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: ... people, particularly our first-responders, are going to be arrested.
That's behavior that has nothing to do with the First Amendment. Quite the contrary. It is designed to keep people from being able to go about their business and express themselves and just not going to be tolerated, but I think the real story also for tomorrow morning's paper is that there just were not that many people out here.
Most people expressed themselves and then went back about their business.
BLOOMBERG: Ray, do you know...
RAYMOND KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: The officer...
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) KELLY: All five officers had the liquid flushed out both at the scene and then went to the hospital.
Those officers went to a different hospital, went to (INAUDIBLE) downtown hospital. They have been treated and released.
KELLY: It was a burning sensation and redness on their face. And whatever that liquid was, I don't think it's been fully determined yet, but it was flushed out.
KELLY: This gentleman here? The officer here? Apparently, there was an attempt to arrest the people who had moved the barriers, lifted the barriers by other officers.
And as a result of that arrest situation, this object with glass in it was thrown at the police officers. It hit this officer. He made a defensive move with his hand. And this is when he received a laceration.
KELLY: Oh, no, it was thrown at the police officer. It happened to hit this police officer. He was going -- he wasn't making the arrest at the barrier. He happened to be there and he got hit with this...
KELLY: It happened in Zuccotti Park.
BLOOMBERG: I said a star-shaped object. We're not going to read through it again.
BLOOMBERG: We will take one more question.
BLOOMBERG: No, this is the officer I described who I gave you his name, 24-year-old on the job for a year, I think, and here at Bellevue and that sort of thing.
BLOOMBERG: We really don't know. Everybody's going to use different numbers. The numbers that I have heard is something less than 1,000, but it's just -- it's hard to tell because you have a group here and a group there and some go from one group to another. The people that have been protesting typically protest all day long in an event like this, so it's hard to count.
But it really doesn't matter. It is not an overwhelming number. The police were able to handle it. Most people were able to go about their business and I would expect the protests for the rest of the day would be pretty much the same thing. They have talked about doing a few different things, being in a few different areas.
Nobody really knows until it happens, but you can rest assured the NYPD has trained for this kind of an event. They will be wherever they need to be. They will keep this city safe and we will go about our business. And I think the message is that if you're here in the city and you want to protest, you can. We welcome people.
This city was built on religious freedom, people that came here because they wanted to be able to say what they wanted to say. That does not mean you can take away somebody else's rights. And we're not going to let that happen. Thank you very much.
BLITZER: All right, so there you have it, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor, Ray Kelly, the politician commissioner, in New York.
You're looking at live pictures from New York as well, the mayor suggesting maybe 1,000 people have been involved in these Occupy Wall Street demonstrations today, marking the two-month moment since the movement began.
There have been demonstrations all around the country elsewhere as well, not only in New York and Los Angeles, Portland, Dallas.
Our own Mary Snow has watching all of this unfold for us in New York.
Mary, tell our viewers where you are right now and what you're seeing.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we are at Foley Square near the courthouses here in Lower Manhattan and this is really what you might consider phase three of this day of action.
And what's happening here now, union members from various unions are planning to hold a rally with the protesters from Occupy Wall Street. The day started with protests around the New York Stock Exchange at various streets. The second phase, protesters went into the subway for what they called a subway speak-out they say not to disrupt subway service, but to get on to the subway and tell their stories of why they are out protesting and then what they plan to do is come here and rally.
There is a permit for this rally that is expected to start in just about an hour. What there isn't a permit for though is a march on the Brooklyn Bridge. The city has said that these protesters can march on the pedestrian walkway of that bridge, but they are not permitted to block car traffic on the bridge.
And several protesters already told us they do plan on blocking that traffic and they expect to be arrested. What we have noticed, what we have witnessed over the day, Wolf, pockets really of skirmishes between police and protesters throughout the day. They have been limited. Protesters have been in and out of Zuccotti Park, going to various spots around Manhattan.
And you just heard the mayor and the police commissioner say, all told, right now it's, the numbers they're putting out, about 175 arrests. This is mostly for disrupting traffic. There have been seven New York City police officers who have been injured throughout the day. We don't have a count on how many protesters might have been injured during the day.
BLITZER: Mary, stand by. I want to get back to you, but I want to go to the Brooklyn Bridge right now.
Our own Amber Lyon is standing by.
Amber, last month, people arrested about 700 demonstrators who tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. What's going on right now? What do we expect?
AMBER LYON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a nervous tension out here because that is the main goal is to keep that from happening again tonight. I'm right at the entrance of the bridge.
You can see this car traffic coming through here. Over there on the other side, that's the walkway. This is where police are trying to corral the march hopefully in the future and keep all the protesters heading along that walkway. You see about two dozen police officers standing right along the edge to kind of guide them across this road, make sure they stay up this walkway.
If they don't, we have got this sign over here. The police have been warning protesters if you walk on that road during traffic, you will be subject to arrest. We're standing over here in the media section. We were warned earlier that we could even be kind of corralled or smashed by a massive group of protesters because what police are doing is they have kind of set up barricades in hopes to kind of corral this march in the way they want it to go.
They want protesters to come from Foley Square, come around these barricades and march around through here to the Brooklyn Bridge. But the problem today we have seen at all these protests -- were at the NYSE and Zuccotti Park earlier -- is that barricades and protesters have not been mixing well today. We spoke with some protesters who feel that these barricades are a way to kind of control them.
And we saw earlier several protesters get arrested after removing barricades at Zuccotti Park. So I think the hope really out here is that this march will follow the direction the NYPD wants and that none of these protesters will cross on to that road. March is expected to come through here in about an hour, so we will be out here keeping an eye on this and update you later -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We will get back to you, Amber. Thanks very much.
Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the Los Angeles financial district today as well, blocking a key intersection.
Let's go live to L.A. CNN's Casey Wian has the latest for us. What's happening there now, Casey?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a lot quieter right now, Wolf, but earlier today as you mentioned, hundreds of people out here protesting, shutting down briefly one intersection near the financial district of Los Angeles.
LAPD says 25 people were arrested this morning. Then there was a separate march this afternoon where three other people were arrested. So that's a total of 28 folks arrested. They're charged with misdemeanor unlawful assembly. They will be released on $500 bail.
Folks here say they're just trying to get their message heard. Let's hear what a couple of them had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really sad the situation that we're in right now. People are losing their jobs. People are losing their homes, while the 1 percent is not making sure that this economy continues to go up.
WIAN: What do you think you have accomplished so far?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we're drawing attention and we're validating this movement. It's a long time coming. People want fairness and justice. We want a new social contract for health care, for education.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIAN: Now, despite that enthusiasm, some of the organizers on the Occupy L.A. Web site today already talking about the endgame and when they may vacate this area outside City Hall, saying they will leave when they decide that it's better serving their interests to leave, not when the police tell them to -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Casey, thank you. We will check back with you as well, see what happens out on the West Coast.
Other news we're following, in Washington, D.C., the man arrested in connection with a White House shooting incident was in federal court today. He is actually charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama.
CNN's Athena Jones is joining us and she has been covering this story for us.
What happened, Athena?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There was only about a 12-minute hearing there in a district -- in a federal court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You know, he was captured there yesterday about 65 miles outside of Pittsburgh.
The suspect appeared in court. He was heavily guarded by U.S. Marshals. His legs were shackled, his hands were handcuffed. And he was given this charge of attempting to assassinate the president. That charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He only spoke two words during the entire proceeding, and that's when the judge asked him if he understood what his defender was saying on his behalf. But even as -- just as interesting, Wolf, I should tell you, is this criminal complaint that we have seen with a sworn affidavit from an FBI agent and we have learned a lot of details that we have been asking about these last few days.
I will just tell you about two of them really quickly. One is that we learned that investigators found several confirmed bullet impact points on the south side of the White House building, the building, on or above the second story. And now the second and third stories of the White House are known to be the residence of the first family.
Investigators found several bullet fragments and one of those bullets matched in size and weight and style the kind of bullets that were found in one of the three magazines in the car that Ortega-Hernandez is alleged to have abandoned a few minutes after the shooting.
Two other points. One is that one of the witnesses said they heard approximately eight popping sounds. That could be as many as eight gunshots and given the number of bullet impact points they found, that could be in line with that.
Finally, we're learning a little bit more about motive. Several witnesses -- authorities spoke with at least three witnesses who said that over the last year, Ortega-Hernandez has become increasingly more agitated over the federal government, believing that the federal government was conspiring against him and believing that it was President Obama himself who was the source of the problem. These witnesses said that Ortega-Hernandez wanted to -- quote -- "hurt President Obama," called him -- quote -- "the Antichrist, the devil," and said that he needed to be taken care of and that he needed to kill him, so very strong stuff, these details we're getting from this complaint.
And we expect to hear more as the days go on.
BLITZER: And as you say, Athena, the president and first lady, they were not at the White House when this shooting incident Friday night occurred, is that right?
JONES: The president was traveling, but still, these shots, of course, were stopped. There's this one shot that we know of was stopped by the ballistic glass there, but still, it's certainly a concern to authorities and so we expect to hear more about this as we go on -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It's a huge concern, as it should be. Athena, thank you.
President Obama's energy secretary holds his ground in the face of Republican allegations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN CHU, U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY: I did not make any decision based on political considerations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So, what defense does he offer for a half-a-billion-dollar taxpayer loan to a company that went bankrupt?
Plus, Newt Gingrich's love-hate relationship with the news media -- bashing it with one hand, while profiting from it with the other.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CAFFERTY FILE: Wolf, as Occupy Wall Street marks two months now of protests, there are questions about exactly what it wants and, more importantly, how it plans to get it. Patience is wearing thin in cities around the country as officials begin to move now against the demonstrators in places like New York City, Oakland and Berkeley, California, Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Utah.
While you've got to give them an "A" for perseverance, the occupiers' tent cities are starting to get on people's nerves, which I suppose as part of the idea. But some of the tent cities have spawned drugs and crime and violence, which is not conducive to generating sympathy for their cause.
And speaking of the cause, what exactly is it? With the protesters so widely dispersed, you have to wonder how focused and concentrated their message is. After two months, a lot of us remain unsure of exactly what their point is. What are they trying to do?
More is needed than a vague complaint against corporate greed if they are to remain relevant. And that brings us to something else the move has been lacking so far: leadership. Put somebody in charge of this group or at least out in front of it and that would perhaps allow them to crystallize their message a little more.
Finally, you can make a very strong argument that the major source of our country's problems is Washington, D.C. So, why are these people content to wander around in places like New York and Denver and Seattle and Oakland and other places outside the real scene of the crimes. If you want to fight a fire, you have to go to where the fire is.
Here's the question: What should Occupy Wall Street's next move be?
Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog, or go to our post on THE SIUTATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Good question, Jack. Thank you.
Meanwhile in Washington, a heated hearing on Capitol Hill with the Energy Secretary Steven Chu on the grill defending the government's half billion dollar loan to a solar panel ma manufacturer that wound up going bankrupt.
Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin is joining us now with the latest details.
It was lively on the hill today, Jessica.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was, Wolf. He was the highest ranking administration official to testify in the investigation and Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the White House did not contact him about granting Solyndra a loan guarantee, and that politics played no role in giving that solar company taxpayer-backed loans.
YELLIN (voice-over): The topic was green energy, but the tone was fiery. The committee's top Republican --
REP. CLIFF STEARNS (R), FLORIDA: It is readily apparent that the senior officials in the administration put politics before the stewardship of taxpayers' dollars.
YELLIN: And Democrat.
REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D), COLORADO: The majority to date as evidenced has focused on firing partisan broadsides at the Obama administration.
YELLIN: With a soft spoken Energy Secretary Steven Chu in the hot seat.
STEVEN CHU, ENERGY SECRETARY: The final decisions on Solyndra were mine and I made them with a best interest of the taxpayer in mind. I did not make any decision based on political considerations.
YELLIN: For Republicans, that was far from satisfying.
REP. FRED UPTON (R), MICHIGAN: Who is to apologize for the half a billion dollars that's been out the door?
CHU: Well, it is --
CHU: It is extremely unfortunate what has happened to Solyndra. But if you go back and look at the time the decision's being made, was there incompetence? Was there any undue -- was there any influence of a political nature? And I would have to say no.
UPTON: So, no apology?
CHU: Well, it is extremely unfortunate what has happened to Solyndra.
YELLIN: Their charge: the Energy Department did not properly vet Solyndra, a company President Obama later touted as a true engine of economic growth. And once it started to fail, put up more taxpayer dollars, but let private investors get preferential treatment if the company went bankrupt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel that you owe people an apology for having subordinated the taxpayer dollar to what now turns out to be a very risky venture?
YELLIN: Democrats say the people driving the investigation have political motives of their own.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: House Republicans and their coal, and oil industry allies are manufacturing a scandal, trying to discredit you, President Obama, the clean energy companies. That's a great deal if you are an oil company or a coal executive, but it's unfair to you and a disservice to the American people.
YELLIN: Now, Wolf, this energy secretary was grilled on so many topics, but also the Republican's latest charge that Solyndra officials were asked to withhold news of layoffs until after last year's midterm elections. The secretary said he had no knowledge of this.
Now, it's also worth noting that this whole Solyndra investigation started as an inquiry into whether political favoritism was behind awarding Solyndra money. But today, the hearing really focused on the department's competence and whose head will roll. Even one Republican said he believes Chu didn't OK this because of political reasons. So, it seems the investigation has sort of moved.
BLITZER: But you just did point out that Secretary Chu did say the buck stops with him on all of this.
YELLIN: Right. Absolutely.
BLITZER: And he's taking personal responsibility even though he's not apologizing for anything.
YELLIN: Unequivocally he said that he is -- that he is the responsible party for this loan being approved.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Jessica Yellin, for that.
He's a sharp critic, but also a major beneficiary in the news media. We're talking about Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich. We'll break town the complex ties.
And Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry proposes a debate with the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi. She takes a slight at Perry with her response. We'll share it with you right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer. Here are some of the stories we're working on for our next hour of THE SITUATION ROOM: The only women -- woman in the Republican race for the White House says she's willing to man up. We're talking about Michele Bachmann. She's standing by to join us live in the next hour.
Also, is Herman Cain hurting the Republican brand? Gloria Borger takes a closer look at potential fallout from his wild presidential campaign.
And the ground war between NATO and the Taliban in Afghanistan sparks a Twitter war.
Stand by. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: But, first, let's get right to our strategy session. Lots to discuss.
Joining us now right now are CNN political contributor, the Democratic strategist, Hilary Rosen, along with our CNN contributor Will Cain of the Blaze.com.
Guys, thanks very much for coming in.
Let's start with Rick Perry. He seems to have a little battle going on with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. First, listen to what he said about President Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It reveals to me that he grew up in a privileged way. He never had to really work for anything. He never had go through what Americans are going -- you know, there's 14-plus million Americans sitting out there, some of them watched the program tonight that don't have a job. This president has never felt that angst that they have in their heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Is that a fair statement, Will Cain? The president of the United States, as you know, was raised by a single mother, really his grandparents raised him. Is that a fair statement about the president of the United States?
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, it's not fair. And more than that, it's not needed, especially when President Obama's ideas give you so many ripe areas for attack.
You know, as Perry was talking about this, he was actually talking about Obama's statements that American businesses, or we have been lazy in attracting businesses to the United States. The "we" being the operative word -- we don't know if Obama meant government, in which case I think he has a misguided view of the role of the government to be cheerleader in chief, rather to set policy and get out of the way, or if he meant "we" as in businesses, which would misconstrue how we have become the country we have. Government being the energizing -- I mean, business being the energizing factor in this economy.
The point I'm making to you, Wolf, is there's plenty of ideas with President Obama to attack. There's no need to focus on his background.
BLITZER: Yes. I mean, the whole point of him saying and I know you feel strongly about this, Hillary, that the president grew up in a privileged way. He never really had to work for anything. Does he not know anything about the president of the United States biography? Growing up as he did?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Rick Perry doesn't appear to know that much about anything. It's downright offensive for him to be talking about the president in those terms.
This is a man who's really lived the American Dream. He grew up not privileged at all, but as he said, in a loved family. He wasn't hungry. But he clearly made his way.
And key to his policies now, he made his way through education, that he worked hard in school, he got scholarships and he ended up going to good schools because he worked hard. And that's really what he has focused on in his public policy now, which is the only way we're going to move into the future is to get kids well-educated.
BLITZER: Maybe he meant some of the other candidates, maybe Mitt Romney, who actually did grow up in a privileged way, his father, George Romney, the former head of American Motors, ran for, was the governor of Michigan. Maybe he's referring -- maybe got confused.
Will, do you think -- is that possible?
CAIN: No, I doubt that's possible, Wolf. You know -- I mean, I think from a strategic standpoint, Perry's actually making a correct move here and that's to focus on Obama. And we know he's challenged to Pelosi on a debate. Focus on Pelosi.
Stop with the in-fighting among Republicans. Focus on the true target of conservatives and that's embodied by Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. I think that's a smart strategy. Besides, here's the big plus in that. They can't fight back.
BLITZER: I want to get into the whole little debate that's now going on or maybe a lack of a debate between Nancy Pelosi and Rick Perry. We've got some other stuff to talk about, Newt Gingrich as well.
Stand by. Gingrich, he's charging hard right now for the Republican presidential nomination. He often comes down hard on the news media. Gingrich though has profited handsomely from his own media activities. We'll explain. Joe Johns will join us when we come back.
BLITZER: Governor Rick Perry went after Nancy Pelosi, writing her a letter challenging her to debate. Well, listen to her response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, he did ask if I could debate here in Washington on Monday. It is my understanding that such a letter has come in. Monday, I'm going to be in Portland in the morning. I'm going to be visiting some of our labs in California in the afternoon, that's two. I can't remember what the third thing is I'm going to be doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Can't remember that third thing is going to dog Rick Perry for the rest of his political career certainly as this race for the White House continues.
Let's bring back our "Strategy Season," Hilary Rosen and Will Cain. Is he really serious, Will, about challenging Nancy Pelosi to a debate?
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I doubt it. I told you the great thing about the strategy of focusing on Obama and Pelosi is they can't fight back. I think it's a pretty safe bet that Pelosi's not going to accept your debate challenge. So, I guess that makes it pretty decent strategy.
BLITZER: Should she accept that debate challenge, Hilary?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, sure, if she did, he'd be sorry. You know, he's gotten nowhere in these Republican debates and he's been a weak debater.
If he thinks, if he takes Will's advice and takes on Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama instead, you know, he's going to be in a lot of trouble because there's no question in my mind that they'd both clean up the floor with him in a debate, so let him have it. It's fine.
BLITZER: Hold on for a minute, guys. I want to bring in Joe Johns. He's working on another Republican presidential candidate. Arguably the frontrunner, if not one of the frontrunners, we're talking about Newt Gingrich right now.
Joe, you've been looking into his career since he left the job as speaker of the House.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: It's really interesting, Wolf. Hard to imagine a candidate with so much history saying he's ready to be vetted, ready for the microscope.
But that's what he's saying and the former speaker is actually seen by many people as the kind of guy who figures out a way to benefit from people in situations you think he wouldn't like. Newt Gingrich's relationship with the news media is really a good example of that.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHNS (voice-over): Newt Gingrich is a complex guy and a media magnet who has made a career out of pushing back at the news organizations that cover him. Now, he's pretty much inviting the scrutiny that comes along with being a top tier presidential contender.
Up until now, you've seen him lashing out at moderators in debates. You've seen him taking on reporters and anchors for questions he doesn't like. You've seen it in the campaign, but truth be told, Newt Gingrich has been slamming the media for decades.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The news media as a culture, the elite media, I'm not talking local reporters, certainly not true of everybody.
But the elite culture is so one sided they assume there's no bias because they collectively share the same bias. You have to trust that the American people are smarter than the elite media thinks they are.
JOHNS: And for many Americans, especially conservatives who are skeptical and suspicious of main stream news organizations, the Gingrich approach seems to strike a cord.
HOWARD KURTZ, CNN'S "RELIABLE SOURCES": Bashing the media is good politics in the Republican primary, but nobody does it with quite the relish and condescension as Newt does.
JOHNS: But beneath this often adversarial relationship with the press what many people tend to forget is that the former speaker made a lot of money off of television, books and even documentary films in a way that could make many lesser paid media figures envious.
For starters, before separating from Fox News earlier this year, "The Los Angeles Times" reports that Gingrich was making a million dollars a year as a contributor, but it's not just TV. Gingrich is part of a documentary film company that he and his wife, Calista run. It's called Gingrich Productions.
They say they produce historical and public policy documentaries. They write newsletters, record audio books, produce photograph essays and make television and radio appearances.
And then there are the speeches, before Gingrich announced he was running for president, he was getting as much as $40,000 or more per speech. And don't forget about the books. Newt Gingrich has written or co-authored almost two dozen that's at least 23 books.
And about half of those have made "New York Times" bestsellers list. For a guy so highly critical of media, he sure knows how to use it.
RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Newt is a product of the media. He's used it very effectively. All the way back to figuring out that when C-Span was brand new, that they could have speeches with an empty chamber and make it look like they were speaking to the entire House of Representatives, he and his other kind of rebels in the House of Representatives, so he's been a very effective user of the media.
JOHNS: It's not clear how much Gingrich make from the media alone, but all told in 2010 financial disclosure documents say Gingrich was worth at least $6.7 million and as much $30 million when you add up everything he's into -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Joe Johns, thanks very much. Let's bring back Hilary and Will for a quick thought. Hilary, nothing wrong with a small businessman as he describes himself, making some money, is there?
ROSEN: No, there's not, you know, but in the Republican primary, bashing the media is the most effective strategy. It's also a good distraction strategy. We saw Herman Cain try to do it last week when he was accused of sexual harassment.
The real issue for Newt isn't where he takes money from the media. The issue for him is that he's taking money so directly is hypocritical to the policies he's talked about.
He's railed for the last several years about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and yet we've learned yesterday that he garnered almost $2 million in fees from Freddie Mac. You just can't go along with any kind of intellectual honesty with those kinds of hypocritical attitudes.
I think that it's not that we begrudge him making money. It's that he's not allowed to run for president, saying he's going to change policy when we know his hand has been in exactly the pockets he's criticizing.
BLITZER: That 1.8 million he got from Freddie Mac will how big of a problem. If it is a problem, will it be for?
CAIN: Well, from a tactical perspective, not very much. Look, a Pew Research study said that about 6 percent of American people know that Newt is running for president.
So unless this scandal somehow gets the word, sex, attached to it or ends up at a "Saturday Night Live" spoof skit, I don't think it's going to resonate.
But let me say this, but a substance standpoint, it should be important and it should join two other stories this week that of the "60 Minutes" piece on congressmen trading on insider knowledge and the Solyndra e-mails the Obama administration sent asking them to put off their firings until after the midterms.
What you have with these three stories is the heart of crony capitalism. Anytime you have government and industry overlapping, it's going to be ugly. The purpose we focus on is not getting rid of men, but taking these connections away. The more of this, the uglier it will be.
BLITZER: Will Cain and Hilary Rosen, guys, thanks very much.
New developments in the Penn State University child sex abuse scandal including more alleged victims and the mother of one young man now speaking out to CNN.
BLITZER: Let's get some more now on the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations. In Washington, D.C., "Occupy" protesters have now targeted an important bridge carrying commuters in and out of the nation's capitol.
Our own Brian Todd is on the scene. Brian, set the scene for us. Where are you?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we're on the D.C. side of Key Bridge here at Washington. Hundreds of protesters gathered here a short time ago. Some of them still here with their signs. They're kind of trickling off the bridge right now.
They had targeted this bridge for several reasons. One is to kind of try to promote infrastructure and job creation with infrastructure as highlighted by President Obama a couple of weeks ago. We're going to take you over here. There's still a gathering over here in the park at the edge of the bridge here in Washington.
Still some more people here and a large police presence. Police are lining the streets over here as well as across the street and here are horses and a lot of police vehicles over here. Hundreds of people streamed across the bridge today.
Earlier today, the mayor of Washington, Vincent Gray had warned them we're OK with you protesting here, but when you try to disrupt traffic, that's when you're going to have a problem on your hands.
As far as we know, no traffic was disrupted, but there were police boats on the river. Heavy police presence here on the park and on the bridge all afternoon as these people have again chanted for more job creation, more economic opportunity.
I heard one "Occupy Wall Street" protester saying they hadn't accomplished much policy changes as a result of that broadcast. They are not giving up. They are going back on the bridge right now and "Occupy Wall Street" and "Occupy D.C." and other city protesters vowed to continue their fight -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Today is two months since this movement began. Brian, we'll stay in close touch with you. Thank you.
Other important news, including more alleged victims in the Penn State University child sex abuse scandal may be coming forward and the mother of one is speaking out to CNN.
Mike Galanos of our sister network, HLN, is at University Park in Pennsylvania. What's the latest, Mike?
MIKE GALANOS, HLN ANCHOR: Well, Wolf, it's our worst fears to think back that there could be many more victims. Here's what happened. Jerry Sandusky gave the interview to NBC, and Bob Costas. The attorney right here in State College, Andy Shoebin who said he began receiving calls from people.
They say they were victimized by Sandusky in the 1970s. Says he sat in kitchens and listened to their story. Our Jason Carroll, our colleague talked to an attorney in St. Paul, says he received at least 10 calls from victim from the 1980s.
Now all this has to be investigated, we know that, but Wolf, the timeline fits. Sandusky began his foundation, the Second Mile Foundation in 1977. First allegation in that grand jury presentment is 1994.
It's a 17-year window where there could be many more victims. You mentioned, Wolf, that one of the moms the talking about from the victim we know. Victim one the last in the chronology, he was victimized in 2005, 2006.
Mom speaking out after the Sandusky interview. Our Anderson cooper asked her, did you see signs back then that you knew something was wrong with your son? Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): Well, I guess it was a long, long haul of clues in his behavior. He went from like being a perfect 1-2-3 magic child to being ornery and arrogant and mean. We had a lot of different, you know, we had disagreements.
Several times, I asked the school to talk to him and they said, well, there's no man in my house. It's time to try to take his place in the world. That's what teenagers do. Asking me to lie to him when he called and stuff like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALANOS: Again, so sad and Wolf, that mother went on to tell our Anderson Cooper the reaction of her son when he heard Jerry Sandusky's voice, cried and the fear is that Jerry Sandusky will go free. It's sad to think of what these alleged victims maybe going through. Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: What's the actual reaction today to all of these late developments on campus, Mike?
GALANOS: Well, you know, it's a very, it's a tired campus, Wolf. I think everybody's looking forward to getting out of here tomorrow. There's no class. I think most of the students are leaving State College.
They're weary. They're hard to talk to. When we asked their opinion on certain things, they've just about had it. They've been through a lot and we'll continue to follow here from State College waiting for more revelations.
BLITZER: I guess, they're all looking forward to that. Thanks, giving break next week. Thank you, Mike Galanos on the scene for us from our sister network, HLN. Protesters right now getting ready to converge on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. We have seen hundreds of arrests last month. We're on the scene and watching what's going on.
Also, Jack Cafferty is asking what should "Occupy Wall Street's" next moves be? Stay with us.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty's back with the "Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour is, what should "Occupy Wall Street's" next move be?
Terry in Virginia, "Find out when Congress is in session and march on Congress, by land, by fax and by phone and by e-mail. Millions of protesters outside the capitol and millions of others on the phone and computers all at the same day and time telling our representatives you work for us.
Maybe then Congress would figure out there are more of us working folks who pay taxes and who deserve to be heard than there are rich guys in corporations looking for their next taxpayer financed bailout."
Rich writes from Florida, "They can come up with a coherent statement of the ways 99 percent of Americans are getting screwed over and how to fix it. And then start taking direct action that targets the appropriate companies and government agencies or they can fold up their tents and go home.
Everything in between, complaining about student loans or their medical care or their foreclosure or someone's intolerance or whatever else is on their laundry list is divisive or simply hot air."
Mike in Florida writes, "They ought to be sentenced to community service to clean up the mess they've created across the country in the form of trash and human waste. Talk to local business owners and see how they feel about the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd.
Please don't ever compare these people to the Tea Party. The Tea Party did not cause civil unrest or riot in the streets. There were no violent confrontations in the streets with police and tear gas. Occupiers call for anarchy. Tea Partiers call for a return to our constitution."
Eric writes, "The flea party should go home with their congressional representative, write to them, contribute to those campaigns they agree with and then vote. Right now, they are doing themselves more harm than good."
Larry on Facebook, "Vote in November, otherwise they've just wasted their time." And Paul writes, "Frankly, what they need are some leaders and faces to come forward to better channel their solutions.
They need to be seen as something other than a crowd and directly engage those who can help their plight. In other words, focus and resolve. They probably could use some good walking shoes, too."
If you want to read more about this, go to my blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's" Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks, Jack. Occupy demonstrators meanwhile are now talking their protests to major bridges in Washington, D.C. as well as in New York City. We're following the story. It's unfolding right now. We'll have live coverage.
Also, Republican presidential candidates talking openly about secret U.S. action against Iran. Now, some are warning them, be careful what you say.
BLITZER: As the United States and the international community weigh in with their next steps in dealing with Iran's nuclear program, are some U.S. presidential candidates thinking too frilly about a rather delicate issue? Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr. She's looking at this story for us. What's going on here, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you've got to ask yourself this question. Whatever happened to holding your cards close?
STARR (voice-over): The mystery continues, U.S. intelligence now believes Iran was mixing highly volatile rocket fuel when it exploded, killing this powerful Iranian general and more than a dozen others.
Two U.S. officials tell CNN, the fuel was for a large ballistic missile, the kind of missile that Iran could eventually use to carry a nuclear warhead. The facility is part of Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.
Many sights are deep underground. If President Obama were to order a strike, the Air Force has a new weapon. These 30,000 pound bombs carried by B2 or B52 bombers with more than 5,000 pounds of explosive, it can penetrate 200 feet underground before detonating.
CAPT. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: It gives us a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy's weapons of mass destruction.
STARR: The Pentagon doesn't want the say publicly it's all about Iran.
KIRBY: The system's not aimed at any one country.
STARR: What the administration plays it's not so subtle message, Republican presidential candidates have been talking tough as well. Some wonder if they're going too far. NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And work on a covert basis to encourage the dissidence.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope we've been doing everything we can covertly.
STARR: Retired Army Intelligence General James Marx says it's a bad idea to talk openly about secret action.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have to talk about that nor should anyone who wants to go into public office. So what we see with current debates and discussions about covert operations, specifically against Iran or other potential nations or entities should be eliminated. That needs to stop.
STARR: Intelligence experts tell us one of the major reasons to not talk about all this stuff is you might inadvertently, one of these candidates, might inadvertently step on an ongoing covert operation if let's say there was one underway -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Barbara, thank you.